Charlottetown busker suffers smashed guitar, kick to head

Nigel Armstrong
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Chris Nettleton has been busking daily at the corner of University Avenue and Kent Street in Charlottetown all winter. This past Sunday he claims two drunk men smashed his guitar, kicked him in the face, took his money and left. It is yet another setback in a troubled life for Nettleton.

The corner of University Avenue and Kent Street in Charlottetown is uncharacteristically quiet now after yet more troubles fell upon the bent frame of busker Chris Nettleton.

He plays his guitar there nearly every day, all hours, through the wind and weather but not since this past weekend.

He is still at his spot on the sidewalk, but it now features a display of a smashed guitar and a sign that says: "Was kicked in the head - Guitar was smashed - Money was taken - Now I have nothing. Storm Coming. Please Help Me ??"

He told The Guardian that this past Sunday, about 5 p.m., two men came up to his spot as he played outside on the sidewalk. He could tell they were drunk.

They said they were from Moncton and they wanted to play Nettleton's guitar.

"When they started getting aggressive I started to put my guitar in my case and they kicked me in the side of the head and stomped on the guitar and took what money I had and took off," said Nettleton. "I wasn’t really in a position to go after them."

He said he didn’t call for assistance and didn’t seek medical attention. His eye didn’t start to swell shut until the next day.

Nettleton brought two guitar cases to his sidewalk station Tuesday. He says they are on loan but he doesn’t know for how long.

"My face hurts too much to play today," he said.

It is a far cry from an interview he did with a news organization in Peterborough, Ont. in 2006. At that time he told a reporter that his music had taken him to opening acts for the likes of David User, the band 54-40 and for Brian Byrne of I Mother Earth.

That biographical news story outlines his claims of battles with addiction, being removed from his drug-addicted mother, a drifters existence, trouble with the law and youth recovery programs.

"A powerful vocalist and songwriter, (Nettleton) shares his tumultuous life experiences with vocally charged and emotional performances," says Nettleton’s page on CBC Music"s database of Canadian artists.

He has since made his way from Ontario to Halifax to Charlottetown where he has been busking since last October, he said.

He was suffering from a severe bladder infection all winter and with the invasive treatment that came with it, he could not work, Nettleton told The Guardian.

"Unfortunately I have been out here all winter, in every kind of weather imaginable," he said. "I"m just trying to make it by.

"I came here to start over because my life wasn’t going in a very good direction," he said. "I was just broken down and I needed a fresh start.

"All I have been wanting to do is just get my feet underneath me and get some stability but it seems (I have) roadblocks everywhere I go."

He was denied social assistance because he didn’t come to the Island with a reasonable financial plan, Nettleton was told. He appealed that ruling and lost, he said.

He has exceeded his allotment of reasonable time at Bedford MacDonald House, he said, and has been "renting a couch here and there."

"I"m tired and I"m frustrated and I"m worn out," he said, as a van pulls to the side of the Kent Street and a man yells out some words of encouragement and hands Nettleton a five-dollar bill. "It"s been a really long winter, especially being as sick as I was for as long as I was, and being out in the elements having to deal with it.

"It"s been really hard," he said.

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Kent Street, Moncton Ontario Halifax Iceland

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Recent comments

  • Isnt this something now
    May 18, 2014 - 07:08

    If you could all see him now! What a change! He has cleaned himself up, actually a really good looking man! I spoke with him last night. He has a place to live, a full time job and what i believe to be attainable goals for the future. So all you haters out there have been proven wrong on SO many levels. Way to go Chris keep on fighting youre proving them all wrong. There are those of us who always believed in you and our faitj was not misplaced!

  • Betty Griffin
    April 14, 2014 - 23:17

    I gave Chris a new guitar and case I sure hope they didn't break that one as well.

  • Bob
    April 02, 2014 - 07:00

    I am one of the burnt bridges Bodhi, Chris, Liam refers to. I considered him a friend as well. And to be honest, I don't beleive much of this story, as it is very similar to the story used when I got conned. That was a long time ago, and apparently things have gotten a lot worse. Chris, you are an addict. You need help. If I walk by you in the street, and see you busking, I won't give you any money, I'm not even sure I'd say hello, and I'm sure you would understand why. But if you were to call out to me, "Hey man, could you give me a lift to a treatment center?" I would. Because that is what you need. If you want to live a good life, it starts by getting off the drugs. There is a pride that comes with being an honest person, doing honest work, being self made, having character, and not relying on crime, lies and pity to get a free ride. I would have thought that some prison time would have helped you out. Go get help, get clean. The best way for you to make ammends for the wrongs that you have done is to turn yourself around.

  • Don't be fooled
    March 31, 2014 - 13:24

    Not trying to hurt anyone, but feel the facts should be known. I have helped this guy out and stayed in my home for a couple of weeks. After busking all the hours , which were many, he seemed to still have no money or bring food home for himself. After being out there for about 12 hrs one day in the cold he claimed he was able to put away 10$. Claimed he used whatever else he made on food and such. He does not eat at the soup kitchen for some reason. If I had to stand outside in the cold for 12 hrs and was only able to put 10$, I think I would put my guitar away or figure something else out. Anyway, I found it hard to believe that after all that time he was here, he still couldn't rub two nickels together and at least put a little food in the fridge for himself. Then I found out why after I discovered the needles and paraphernalia . He says he just had a slip, but people who have a one time slip don't have a whole kit of needles and other paraphernalia. While packing his stuff to get out, I found a nice caring letter from his mom and dad (claims he is from foster system with an addict mom) who were showing concern about his situation and had also sent him a government cheque from Ontario. I do not feel like the letter is from parents who have problems with drugs. As I was packing his stuff also found items that were stolen. Anyway I am saying my truth so that others out there can make an informed decision. I'm sure he wants to be clean and move forward, but do not believe he is at that point yet ,even with the year in jail . I would advise before giving him a room or any substantial amount of money that you go to Walmart and by a ten $ drug test kit. If he is straight like he says he is ,he won't mind peeing a little to prove it. Also I don't understand how someone gets beat up at five in the evening with all that traffic ,and out of over one hundred comments on this story, that nobody posted that they saw or witnessed it. Anyway I do not wish anyone ill will, I just don't agree with everyone giving someone who says he is clean, money, so they can put your hard earned money up their veins. As far as sob stories,he had a few for me as well. As far as I am concerned, there are two kind of people out there as far as addicts, those who truly want to help themselves and those who SAY they want to help themselves in order to fool others into helping them with their game. Be careful who you give money to, you might be helping him spend his last day here, alive. If someone wanted to help this fella out, I would consider taking any money raised for him not be put in his hands but instead have someone responsible and only have access to it with receipts for his necessities or send the money to help pay for a rehab program like the kind in Guelph, Ont. Chris, you are in my prayers, hope you find your way back to your truth and peace. You really should check yourself in and stop taking "IN" the people of Charlottetown so you can feed your arm. Let's be honest...

    • Wake up
      March 31, 2014 - 16:47

      I am so glad you shared your story. I've made a few comments on here with my gut feelings on this whole matter. I was a bit starting to feel sorry for him thinking that maybe there is some truth in his story. You make a valid point. I don't think we have to prove ourselves in being caring people to give o those who won't help themselves. He did commit a horrible crime & just got out of jail a few months ago. Although I do believe in forgiveness, I also believed in one must do something in order to gain others trust again. So far I haven't seem this in Chris. Until I hear stories that he had obtain a real job & know longer living off others's kindness then I will feel he has made a change in his life. I too wish him the best. Just prove all the "naysayers" wrong Chris.

  • I don't know,
    March 31, 2014 - 04:12

    Open your mind, I bet you won't be able to comprehend being in their situation. We all need to work on ourselves.

    • Adam
      March 31, 2014 - 21:02

      He has put others that I know in bad situations, including my roommate and myself. I feel bad for him but he brought this on himself. People help him and he steals from them. If he needs help that badly he should be honest rather than deliberately deceive the people who are helping him. He lost my trust and DOZENS of other people I know. We all were friends helping out and one by one he burned his bridges. A lost soul.

  • Addie
    March 31, 2014 - 02:47

    Are you comfortable sitting there in your nice warm home, with your nice job and bank account. Good. May you NEVER be homeless and sick and cold.

  • Tonya C
    March 30, 2014 - 08:21

    This story is appalling on so many levels. I always believed that Canadians didn't have to live on the street, it was a choice, as the "system" was there for anyone that needed help. Clearly that isn't true. How could a person in this type of situation be turned away from assistance by our Government? As well, I don't care how intoxicated the Moncton men were, they should have had enough compassion, moral integrity and common sense not to literally "kick" a man when he's down. There are a lot of "good news stories" today still, but it only takes one sad one to make it hard to remember the good. I hope this man finds some assistance, my heart truly goes out to him.

  • Den
    March 29, 2014 - 20:53

    Most of us are at least 2 or 3 months away from being out on the street aren't we? Whatever your side is on this matter, remember, karma can be a mean bitch. I don't know this guy or whether he is a scam artist but I try to reserve judgements when it comes to anyone who is homeless. Just be glad you have the dignity of going home every night to a warm bed and having a roof over your head, especially at this time of year.

  • Krista MacKinnon
    March 29, 2014 - 17:42

    Q104 Update: From Lloyd Gardner -Need some help here Q Nation. I have a friend Brian Byrne (Lead singer from I Mother Earth) wants to help this guy out. Please post here or message me if you know this guy and how to get hold of him.

  • David
    March 29, 2014 - 16:10

    Broken guitar but has access to the internet to reply to what people say. Maybe he could start a crowd source campaign to replace his guitar and raise money for cause like himself. Things are just to neat in this story for it to be real.

    • or...
      March 29, 2014 - 16:23

      you can get internet for free easily at the Confed Centre Library

  • Lynne
    March 29, 2014 - 15:07

    There's an old biblical saying that goes "let he who is blameless cast the first stone"..we must remember that we are choosing to comment on this article and not being forced to write our opinions, thereby committing our thoughts to this arena for the world to see. This makes us responsible for the good or harm we do with our words. Whatever this man did in the past, these are the things that he carries with him day to day. He said that in his comment and I choose to believe what he says. So from this day forward, we live with our choices, he his and me mine. It's very simple and if Chris is out there and reads this, I for one am on your side. Good luck and keep playing :)

  • Lisa
    March 29, 2014 - 13:23

    Homelessness, poverty, and drug addiction are some of the few things which are still openly, incontestably discriminated against. It is not as simple as "bad choices" he has made or a "sob story" he tells. That is just plain ignorance. Coming from a life which presents you with no opportunities leads you down a very difficult and limiting path, only making it more and more difficult to come out from. It is not as simple as working hard. Often those of us who have always had the chance to succeed, myself included, forget that not everyone has these same privileges. I don't know this particular man's life story, but imagine if you came from a troubled household with no money, had to drop out of school to earn money to feed you and your family, maybe that wasn't enough and you have to steal, you get caught and now you have a criminal record and no education, now you have to find a job (good luck) and if that fails you can't afford a home, now you're out in the cold and bitterness with little hope for the future, perhaps drugs to ease the pain is looking better than the life you have now, and the downward spiral continues. These things are not always as simple as mistakes and bad choices. We live in a system which does very little to help these people. Give this man some slack.

  • MandeighKay
    March 29, 2014 - 00:50

    I am disappointed with our Isalnders. We are Canadian. We are known for helping people when they fall. I am reading comments about kicking a man when he is already lying on the ground. "Don't give him anything" some people are saying. This man just needs a hand to help pull him up. Denied assistance, living in pain, and the most hurtful, people judging him for his past mistakes. Don't we all make mistakes? I know I have made plenty in my day. Over the past three years I have become a better person because of those mistakes. But I could never have achieved this if I was constantly reminded of these mistakes every day. How can we expect Mr. Nettleton to become a better person if people only see him for his mistakes? A wise professor once said to me - this advice is not for Mr. Nettleton, but for our Islanders - "We Can Do Better".

  • Jon
    March 28, 2014 - 20:17

    He needs to give up on the poor me thing . And for everyone who is feeling sorry and defending him .. Get a reality check.

  • Wake up
    March 28, 2014 - 18:25

    When I look at the online photo of this guy giving his poor me story in January it already looks like his guitar is broken & taped together. I find his story a bit unbelievable. He is quick to tell his little story to everyone but he wouldn't go to the police after getting assaulted. Why is that? Again not being a stand up citizen for reporting a crime that was done unto him. Even after reading his heartbreak story I feel like it's just another con. I hope we don't hear about him again in the papers. We are just asking for more panhandlers to come to our beautiful Island.

  • Karma
    March 28, 2014 - 12:25

    This gem of a citizen robbed my younger female cousin at knifepoint while she was working, less than a year ago. But please....let's ensure his guitar gets replaced so he can continue to sit on the corners of Charlottetown accepting money from hard-working Islanders.

    • sickofit
      March 29, 2014 - 17:48

      your stupidity is disgusting

    • Angela Gray
      March 29, 2014 - 19:39

      How are they being stupid?

    March 28, 2014 - 11:43

    they are looking for workers at the fish plant he could get work there I got their phone number if he want to call them

  • Chris Nettleton
    March 28, 2014 - 11:10

    I am making one post and one post only in response to the positive and negative comments left here. I won't reply afterwards, I have no wish to get into a war of words with anyone. I DO think it is important and the proper thing to do that I address peoples comments and concerns though. That being said, it is not my intention to give you a sob story, make excuses or justify anything. I just want to set the record as straight as I can. Draw whatever conclusions from this that you like. I will be the first one to admit(and if you've ever spoken to me you know this) that over my life I have committed many many wrongs to fuel the addictions that I have been a slave to much of my adult life. I have committed crimes, lied, cheated manipulated and stole in the pursuit of filling the void that for whatever reason has always been prelevant in my life. Over the years I have burned every bridge, ruined every relationship, both platonic and romantic. I have been coast to coast ruining myself and those around me on a path of self destruction that became the cycle of my life over and over again. Move somewhere new with the best intentions to start of over, get clean and live a good life. Time and time again I would do this and over a short period of time ruin things because of the afore mentioned behaviour and transgressions of self absorbed delusional, drug filled self destruction. I have no excuses or justifications for it. I am smart enough to know better. It is on me. The guilt and shame that I will always carry because of this is a heavy burden that I will carry for the rest of my life. Some have said the terrible things that I have been through since October are Karmic and deserved. In many respects and cannot deny the aptness of such statements. Part of what keeps me strong on my new path is the thinking that these things are my penance for the untold amount of hurt that I have caused over the years on the way to finally turning my life around. Everyday I live with the guilt and shame for my past actions. It keeps me awake at night, at times fills me with fear and self doubt and feelings of worthlessness, inferiority, and paranoia. The result of which makes it hard to cultivate new relationships, feel worthy of love and trust.... When I came to Charlottetown it was to start over, get clean begin a path towards a good life. I failed miserably and wound up committing an armed robbery and found myself in jail for a year. It was the best that could have ever happened to me. It gave me a chance to delve deep, sort myself out and physically become balanced. When one is constantly wasted or recovering from being that way, your brain chemicals are out of whack preventing you from thinking straight and truly being yourself. I was that way for almost 20 years. So i found balance, came to grips with the reality of my actions and was able to truly become myself for the first time in two decades. I was released in October full of hope and possibility, eager to begin anew and truly be the good decent person I knew myself to be without the abuse of drugs. Here I will give a point by point breakdown of what has happened since October. -I was released to a street corner with no money, belongings, place to live or employment. -The next day my bladder infection was so bad that I needed to have a catheter put in. I was told I needed bed rest, antibiotics and should not work or do anything strenuous or requiring a lot of movement. -I stayed at the local shelter, applied for Social Assistance and was denied. I appealed the decision which I also lost. I had to leave the shelter per their policies. -Stupidly I left my guitar unattended and it was stolen. It was my only means of support. -With help from a number of people I was given a FEW guitars! I was only in need of the one and sold the rest in order to pay to rent a couch from someone I met. I hear now that there was a mix up with one of these and the person intentions as to what I could do with it. I have been to taking steps to rectify this misunderstanding and they are getting it back this weekend. - The replacement guitar got broken when I slipped and fell on some ice and once again it was replaced. -During this time, unable to work with spotty living arrangements I was in and out of shelters, peoples floors and couches. All the while busking being my only support due to being unable to work. All day everyday I was in much physical pain and the constant cold nullifying the effects of the antibiotics - A few weeks ago the catheter was removed. Its taking awhile to get physically healthy again. I had lost a lot of weight from the sickness and also lack of nutrition coupled with the sheer amount of physical effort it takes to be out in the constant intense cold. Frostbit and I are well aquainted because of busking. I refused to beg even if it hurt. -I have had some day work since and spend part of each day looking for permanent work but I still need to survive day to day. It has been next to impossible to save enough at one time to rent an apartment or room. -Last weekend you've all heard what happened. To address some of these posts, I did indeed play with the bands listed and more. I was looking at a promising music career at one point but burned that chance down too. The smart phone I use was given to me. I use it to look for a job online, email resumes amongst other things. People have indeed been generous with me in light of the most recent situation. I am putting their help to good use and will continue to do so. People in my church are currently working with me to find me a place to live and a more permanent means of support. I think that about covers it. I can't make anyone believe that I have changed, am living a clean life and doing what I can to survive honestly and with integrity. I can only try to live up to my own standards and be the best person I can. God forgives, hopefully people will too. Thank you for all your support and concern Charlottetown. I won't let you down. I've endured much and fought very hard to stay to prove to myself and to others who have taken a chance on me that I am worth it. That I can and will build a full successful, clean and fufiling life. Sincerley, Chris

    • Joyce Aldrich
      March 29, 2014 - 15:42

      Chris, you keep going. I d believe that you have turned an important corner and that Yahuwah/God will not let you down. Here is something i wrote when I was picked me up...hope it helps...

    • Joyce Aldrich
      March 29, 2014 - 15:43

      Chris, you keep going. I d believe that you have turned an important corner and that Yahuwah/God will not let you down. Here is something i wrote when I was picked me up...hope it helps...

    • Joyce Aldrich
      March 29, 2014 - 15:44

      Chris, you keep going. I d believe that you have turned an important corner and that Yahuwah/God will not let you down. Here is something i wrote when I was picked me up...hope it helps...

    • Krista MacKinnon
      March 29, 2014 - 17:44

      Q104 Update: From Lloyd Gardner -Need some help here Q Nation. I have a friend Brian Byrne (Lead singer from I Mother Earth) wants to help this guy out. Please post here or message me if you know this guy and how to get hold of him.

    • Yvette
      March 30, 2014 - 06:34

      Good luck Chris... I believe you.

    • Mom
      March 30, 2014 - 07:55

      Chris, I am the mother of the young girl you robbed at knifepoint. I can see that the road you have been on is a difficult and trying one. I realize we all make mistakes and sometimes picking ourselves back up is not as easy as it sounds. My concern is that in the midst of your pain you have not met the requirements of your sentencing. You see one of those requirements was to write a letter of apology to the girl that you robbed yet she never received it. To me this is a huge oversight in your attempts to clean up as this can benefit You as well as the victim (and her mom). You may not realize that the violence of that situation can last a long time and even when we don't want to admit it, it stays with us. I watched the video of the robbery and I still hold some fear for my daughter because of that event. It seems you were given a year to Complete that letter and while this may seem like something small to you it was a needed element of closure for the victim and her family. I hope that you have found a path that will take you where you truly want to go and I will not judge you for your past mistakes however I think you should reconsider what it means to apologize for yourself and your new life as well as for the people who have been hurt. You may not always gain forgiveness from the other but possibly from yourself which can really help us stay on the right path. Just a thought from a concerned mom.

  • good God
    March 28, 2014 - 07:32

    Bradley Walker - A LITTLE CHANGE check this on utube

    • kkk
      March 29, 2014 - 12:29

      NO good thinking though

  • imwithstupid
    March 28, 2014 - 07:07

    you all make me sick you call yourselves canadians obviously the guy has problems but you all sound like them hillbilly americans who think they are better then everyone else. so everyone who wrote a negitive comment should think and i hope everyone of you become poor and see what you would all do when you have nothing. anon your an idiot just because i say so and yeh people do drugs what ever you probley do some yourself yet you have the balls to critisize people yet now youll call me out cause i said something bad about you big guy on the internet but in real life your a nobody. so stop putting other people with less then yourself down unless it makes you feel better.

  • givehimachance
    March 28, 2014 - 00:52

    I know him personally. He attends my church and i can tell you he does indeed acknowledge hls past mistakes and feels terrible about them. He has asked God for forgiveness and is doing what he can to atone for his past sins. Being someone who works with addicts I sincerly believe he is clean. Give him the benefit of the doubt. People can and do change . We don't know all the details. Don't be so quick to judge I am sure there are perfectly reasonable explanations for his current actions. He has been honest and forthcoming about his past since we met him. Give him a chance. I am. confident he will prove all you nay sayers wrong....

  • anon
    March 27, 2014 - 21:02

    This is ridiculous. I do not understand why he is even allowed to stand there all day. He had his guitar smashed. Before the day was over he had 2 new ones... which I saw being loaded into a police car and taken away. He does drugs in the bathrooms downtown leaving blood and needles behind. And worst of all... he robbed a convenience store. The person working was a young girl no older than 18. A family member. Every day I have to look at this guy lying his way through life taking money from people who feel sorry for someone who threatened one of the sweetest girls I know with a weapon. His lying face makes me sick.

  • Idontfeelbad
    March 27, 2014 - 20:42

    I would feel bad if someone got roughed up and robbed, if it happened. I did feel bad for him at one point in time, I gave him my guitar. I can now buy it back from the pawn shop for $140. Now having said that I did give it to him and tell him it was his and to do what he needed with it. I guess he found his old guitar within a couple days and sold mine for some rent money. It's just a kick in the face for me in a way. The guy at the pawn shop said to me "no good deed goes unpunished" I guess he was right.

  • he's a pro folks
    March 27, 2014 - 20:18

    This guy is a pro folks,when he said he was looking for work,I gave him a phone number to call,I told him 12 dollars per hour,just doing odd jobs about 30 hours per week,the number was mine,the phone never rang.

  • Burnt Bridges
    March 27, 2014 - 18:44

    Was disappointed to read the head line, as I read who this happened to my eyes started to roll. Chris has burnt people from coast to coast, that's not an exaggeration in the least. I knew him on the scene in Fredericton. He lied and manipulated his was through everybody until he had nobody left to take advantage of, moved West, did the same thing and obviously has made his way back to the East Coast again. I'm very skeptical that this story even took place. Seeing that people are starting up a fund to get him money and a guitar, I have no doubt that was his motivation. He'll take advantage until people see his true colours and then move on again. I hate to be the person who sees the worst, but I can't stand to see the kindness of people being used for personal gain. Sadly, I'm quite confident that this is what's happening here.

    • Wake up
      March 27, 2014 - 19:40

      I know what you mean. I feel so sorry for the ones who are getting suck into helping this con-artist. I hope that they don't become jaded when they find out that hey have been used. It wouldn't surprise me that Chris his smartphone making a few of these comments.

  • Lori
    March 27, 2014 - 17:11

    Don't give him anything! He traumatized a young girl at knife point and sits in front of Starbucks drinking $5 coffees on his smartphone!! Sure he might be an addict but thats absolutely to excuse. He needs to get a job or go back to his own province and sit on welfare!

    • Michael Maloney
      March 27, 2014 - 18:17

      Wow .. you are one fine example of a human being .. compassionate and caring for your fellow man. And destructive when someone is down in life .. glad I do not know you.

  • tax payer
    March 27, 2014 - 15:49

    No one should get kicked in the head and it apparently didn't work. The social system failed him, no he failed himself. If you don't like your situation you change it. Stick your thumb out go where the work is. Couldn't get welfare isn't that sad but he was out there doing something unlike countless other people that only work long enough to get ei and drain the rest of our pockets. I am upset to about all the new Canadians taking over the work here.....oh yeah if everyone went to work we wouldn't be importing. Things aren't looking good and this guy is the least of our concerns. Why don't all the bums get jobs and everyone else quit supporting this sort of thing.

  • Big Joe
    March 27, 2014 - 14:58

    I've talked to this lad a few times and he's not a bad fellow. Sure, he's got his problems, but everyone does. For those who are being so judgmental, just remember, you're not dead yet - circumstances can change rather quickly in one's life so be careful who you criticize. Even millionaires have lost their fortunes and ended up on the street.

  • Paul Landry
    March 27, 2014 - 13:18

    Some very heartless comments on here regarding this individual. Where is the compassion for a fellow human? It is so easy for some people to be judgemental about others circumstances ... it sometimes only takes one unfortunate situation and that could be anyone. Think, please.

    • anon
      March 29, 2014 - 18:20

      Compassion for a con artist who robbed someone at knifepoint? Not a chance.

  • Some people disgust me
    March 27, 2014 - 13:09

    For the people who are talking poorly about this guy, who the hell gives you the right? Everyone has made mistakes in their life and yes some are more extreme than others but does that seriously give you any right to say that he deserved this? How dare you. Life isn't easy for everyone and I don't see how it overly affects you if he is doing what he loves by playing guitar. Maybe it's situations like these that prove why some kids are bullies, because some of you ''mature adults" aren't showing any sympathy for what has happened. Open your eyes and look at the world differently.

  • Shameful
    March 27, 2014 - 12:58

    So much hate here. I'm ashamed to be an Islander reading these comments.

  • feelings, can't trust them
    March 27, 2014 - 12:46

    The last time I read his sign, he stated he still needed $ for the next month's rent. Is there anything he can do to make his rent aside from begging and tugging at the heartstrings of passers by? The reality is, in 2012, he brandished a knife traumatizing someone in the process of a ROBBERY. We can feel sorry for someone and throw a bit of money at him but in the long run what good will it do? You can give a man a fish and he eats for a day - teach him to fish and he eats for a lifetime. I am thinking because of privacy laws no one in any kind of authority can comment on this particular case. Islanders are generous and do help others, evidenced at any given time of the year through various fundraisers and draws etc. but it is wise to fill someone's water bucket when there is a large hole in the bottom of it?

  • Chris
    March 27, 2014 - 12:34

    I have to say I was shocked at the comments on this story for two reasons: (1) I can't believe that people on PEI are happy that a homeless man was kicked in the head, despite any past wrongdoings of his. Homelessness, drug addiction, and crime resulting because of these things are major problems everyone else in the world. Perhaps its time people on this island look at real world issues that hit PEI with through the '2014 lens' instead of the '1955 lens.' (2) What is with the writing in this comments? How hard is it to use simple grammar rules? C'mon people, putting periods and commas in sentences isn't so hard--look, I'm doing it right now. The education system has definitely failed this island, and has for years. I also noticed a pretty strong correlation between writing skills and violent/aggressive comments...go figure. For anyone that quotes that this was 'Karma,' you may be forgetting about another Karmic principle--that you badmouthing a homeless man that was assaulted and robbed, that is going to get you some serious bad Karma. That is to say, you're being a d*** to a person with NOTHING, and Karma will get you for that. To the recovered(ing) junkies that are trashing this man--have some sympathy. You aren't far removed from the addiction that has a hold of this man. You're just one of the lucky ones that were able to break free--at least, for now. The thesis of what I'm trying to say here is this: quit being a bunch of d***s, and for the love of God, learn how to write proper sentences.

    • Reade
      March 27, 2014 - 15:05

      Speaking of that inability to write sentences, Chris, Please tell us what this is supposed to mean "Homelessness, drug addiction, and crime resulting because of these things are major problems everyone else in the world." Looks like an incomplete sentence to me, as well as one that makes no sense. Never mind everyone else smart guy, stick to your point.

    • Bill
      March 27, 2014 - 20:22

      Apparently writing with good English IS pretty hard! Haha..."this comments" that you criticize others!

  • patty cakes
    March 27, 2014 - 12:24

    Maybe this poor homeless soul could go back to his own province of birth and get finincial help. Not be travelling from province to province seeking money and charity . PEI has more than enough people who need help and are struggling to make it each and every day. From a gov. perspective, we are a province in debt and have no money so why would we feel the need to support someone who is not from our gental Island. Time for all of us to take a really close look at our ability to enable those who could be more self sufficent if they wanted to or were taught to.

    March 27, 2014 - 11:51

    Yea right!!! Tis is the same guitar that he said was stolen 4 months ago. and it was the same sign he used before. and will be the same one he will use again in a few months. I don't feel bad at all for him. you do not move to another province when you do not have a job.

  • Frosty
    March 27, 2014 - 11:35

    Anyone that needs some quick cash, obtain a shovel and starting making the rounds, it's a goldmine out there

  • Hereandnow
    March 27, 2014 - 11:22

    DISHWASHER Charlottetown (PE) Salary: Hourly: min. $10 for 10.0 hours per week Job Number: 7376750 Anticipated Start Date: As soon as possible Source: Job Bank Terms of Employment: Permanent Part-Time Number of position

  • help?
    March 27, 2014 - 11:20

    Social sevice help is 346 for shelter place to live for a single person that has to include utilities heat lights etc .Total 646 for housing .laundry , food .

  • Jessica Francis
    March 27, 2014 - 11:00

    I feel bad for him. and shame on all of you on here saying mean things about him! This is not the way Islanders are suppose to react to someone in need.

    • Ryan
      March 27, 2014 - 11:39

      If he can tolerate playing his music out doors in the cold every darn day then I am sure he could get a part time job ( keep on dreaming that you are an aspiring artist or face reality and serve people Tim's coffe thru a drive thru

  • Bobbi lea Henderson
    March 27, 2014 - 10:45

    I think it's horrible what people are saying on here . Don't get me wrong I get annoyed when I see people busking on the street BUT I also know how hard it is to get a job on this island and I have no criminal record . I am also a recovering addict and it doesn't matter what this guy has done in the past or what he does now ... The point is that this Island does not have enough jobs for everyone let alone a high enough pay for people to to live comfortable from pay check to pay check . Also this is not the first addict/homeless person to rob a store and he won't be the last . Until this Island gets a better addiction facility , better mental health facility , and better homeless shelters possibly more work opportunities and a better pay rate then nothing is going to change . For all the people on here running your mouth and saying the cruel things you are ... Grow up you're no better then the person who robs/steals/lies. You are all BULLIES !!!! I don't care what this guy has done he still didn't deserve to get kicked and /or beat up and his guitar stolen . Also for alm you people bring a bully on here how come you're not putting up your real name on your post !!!

  • Sam of Charlottetown
    March 27, 2014 - 10:22

    Got assaulted and robbed. I wouldn't call that bad, I would call that Karma. As far as singing with major acts over the years., I've heard this guy sing on the street corner, I think he's stretching the truth a little. Every day he has a different story to tell. I give to those in need all the time but I give to those who truly need it not to those who try and fool me. You can call me shameless or ignorant but I really don't care what you think about me. I work hard for my money and it's my choice as to who I give it too. I choice not to give it to a person who uses stories to pull on the heartstrings of people. We all have choices in our lives. Some choice to work and make a living and some choose to try and swindle money from people like me.

    • jack
      March 27, 2014 - 14:02

      Hi Sam guess u are not from P.E.I. no way

    • Sam of Charlottetown
      March 28, 2014 - 12:29

      Well Jack, I am from PEI. Born and raised here. What does that have to do with my comments? I don't mind giving to those in need but I do mind giving my money to those who commit a crime. If that was your daughter that was behind the counter of the Needs store when this guy pulled a knife on her, you'd be singing a different song.

  • Jodi LeBlanc
    March 27, 2014 - 10:17

    Thank you Nigel for your article. We have set up a fund to "Help Chris get his sound back".

    • doug
      March 27, 2014 - 14:40

      Try setting up a fund for his victim, you know the one he robed at knife point.

  • Savanna
    March 27, 2014 - 10:12

    the comments on this are horrible, if you adults can be that immature to put someone down who has done nothing wrong to you, you clearly need to get a reality check, even if it was a scam who cares, he is doing what he loves which is singing and playing the guitar . and for those of you telling him to get a job like the rest of us you need to come to realize that it isn't that easy coming from a 16 year old who has been trying to get a job for 3 months and have applied for any company that I could possibly apply for and yet there is still nothing. and he may not even have the best education and without that how are you even suppose to get a decent job now a days. and one more point, you all complain about bullying but what are you guys doing there.. to me it seems like bullying . so for you all putting this poor man down get your head out of your ass

    • HST
      March 27, 2014 - 17:33

      Wonder if he files his taxes ? Maybe an audit is due?

  • Whereisthehonor
    March 27, 2014 - 09:59

    He is a busker because we give him enough to live. Pay for the smart phone Starbucks coffee and to feed himself. This is a choice he made coming to Charlottetown. Plain and simple if he wasn't getting anything he would move on. He however he does not deserve to be assulated but all the other poor me crap is not necessary. There is lots of work for those who chose to do it. Obviously he can make enough to get by on his busking instead of flipping burgers. Most homeless people we never see.

  • Kalo
    March 27, 2014 - 09:43

    The man cherished that guitar..played everyday for people and himself...

  • Eileen Brown
    March 27, 2014 - 09:34

    Why can't social welfare help this young man out till he gets on his feet , youd sweare to God that the Social Welefare had that money in their personal bank account Where is the compassion gone in this world anyway

    • Really
      March 27, 2014 - 10:43

      How do you know that he isn't receiving welfare? Because he says he isn't? With all the lines he has used to get people to give him money, why would you believe anything that he says. He may very well be receiving welfare and spending it on things other than shelter. The same applies for the reason he gave for his guitar being smashed. Why would anybody believe that story. I know I don't.

  • Things that make you go, hmmmm...
    March 27, 2014 - 09:25

    Firstly, I am someone who has no problem helping out someone in need. What I do have a problem with are people like this guy who use multiple sob stories scrawled on cardboard to play upon the heart strings of the public. These folks with the little woe is me signs are hauling in tax free dollars to the tune of more than some actual working people in the run of a day. It would not surprise me if he smashed his own guitar and got a friend to smoke him one in the face so he can make a real good plea to the public. Poor me, poor me. There is a man with NO HANDS in Charlottetown that works for a living for goodness sake, so this scam artist saying he can work due to a bladder infection is comical at best.

    • A concerned panner
      March 27, 2014 - 10:03

      Well, lucky handless man, I'm in good health, and I can't find a job in town, and I have no transportation, and nowhere else to go, so I can't apply out of town- if there were jobs to apply for. I've been up and down town all year looking for a job, but I need to make money somehow, with a homeless shelter that will only let you stay a week, it's good to have money to rent a couch or something, it's cold out there, man, and we're just trying to scrape by

    • islander
      March 27, 2014 - 16:32

      I had a bum downtown curse at me because I wouldn't give him money and then slap my girlfriends rear...I was not impressed but they run like the cowards they are. This Chris fella was one who cursed at me and spit at me one day too because I wouldn't give him any money

  • Stan Hope
    March 27, 2014 - 09:23

    Boy , I sure hope this is not a true reflection of the Island majority.There is so much hate posted here it makes me ashamed to call myself an Islander. But then again it's easy to condone this kind of assault when you sit in the comfort of your trolling nest remaining anonymous.

    • Eileen Brown
      March 27, 2014 - 09:44

      Still doesn't give them a reason to break his Guitar or to kick him they should be charged and punished I'm suprise of all these nasty remarks I didn't think Real Islanders were that judgemental

  • Jeb
    March 27, 2014 - 08:31

    I stopped to give him money yesterday, but he was too busy texting on his smartphone....nice scam he's got here.

    • I agree
      March 27, 2014 - 09:33

      Couldn't agree with you more, a dandy scam indeed. Unfortunate that the media is assisting this swindler in his campaign to guilt trip people. Save your charitable hearts folks, for people who have the drive within to improve themselves, not someone who makes up new stories to shame those of us who take responsibility for our lives into enabling his poor life choices.

  • Dick
    March 27, 2014 - 08:20

    I never see this guy wearing steel toes looking for work. I think he is doing very well, I am lucky if I can afford to buy one Starbucks coffee in a week. If people stop giving him money he will go away. He is an eyesore on that corner. The city should put up a no soliciting sign like they have done in other areas. "Do not feed the birds"

    • Eileen Brown
      March 27, 2014 - 09:37

      Why can't social welfare help this young man out till he gets on his feet , youd sweare to God that the Social Welefare had that money in their personal bank account Where is the compassion gone in this world anyway

    • No name
      March 27, 2014 - 09:51

      I have actually worked an odd job with this guy, he assisted on a construction site, worked harder than most of the people there and did not give me a sob story

    • agree
      March 27, 2014 - 10:41

      I agree...I would love to go to Starbucks but just wont because of him...the other bum turned me away from Pizza and Poutine one evening too as he was rude one day I was walking by

  • Kass Denham
    March 27, 2014 - 08:00

    This man definatly did not deserve what he got. So for all of you, im trying to raise money to buy him a new or even a used guitar and to give him some money. Id love to hear him singing again, it always brought me a smile.

  • pei mindset
    March 27, 2014 - 07:48

    Well jhonny cash was in prison once wasnt he and every one loves him lives can be turned around .

    • fank
      March 30, 2014 - 19:50

      no he wasn't it was a made up song lol

  • James B.
    March 27, 2014 - 07:19

    This is in response to the cynical, callous comments by "Duddy" and others on the same mentality and maturity level. You're comments are shameful and for lack of a better word, ignorant. YOU people look down on these individuals and they get viewed lower than dirt. Personally, it makes me sick that we can be so heartless to those in need. I hope this gets treated as a hate crime if they catch the two individuals, because that's exactly what this is, acting out against an individual or group based on pre-emotions against said group or individual.

  • Finally
    March 27, 2014 - 06:42

    I think it is horrible that someone assaulted and rob this man. By why not report it when it happened .. I'm sure there are a lot of cameras around that corner. This is the same guy who told me a couple of weeks ago that he made over 12 grand busking here during the summer, but he is sleeping on couch and filing for social assistance. I think its great if you can do what you love for a living but IF you cant support yourself busking maybe its time to get a job like the rest of us

  • Fed up
    March 27, 2014 - 06:41

    Get out of this province you are scum who doesn't want help but wants sympathy for more drug money . This is such a convenient time for you to get robbed isn't it . If you have sickness only you can take that first step .stop blaming everyone else for your choices .i know a young fella who was just like you he turned his life around for the better. So stop with the my mom was a drug addict and poor me act .this young man I am talking about he is a role model to others with addictions you can come clean and be a great human being contributing to society .Now get off my streets and turn your life around . If he can do this so can you .

  • There only one judge
    March 27, 2014 - 06:34

    There is only one judge and we all know who that is . People make mistakes esp if they desperate. Robbing is no excuse .well even the correctional center is better than most of the housing in charlotteown .I dont see how anyone can be denied social assistance .But they are .Even though human rights says it is discrimination to be denied basic needs shelter .food etc. Yeah may be he did some wrong things .maybe he still does who knows . But this is someones child we all here for a reason and most of all this is a human being a child of god .

    • How it is...
      March 27, 2014 - 13:30

      There are many judges. I'm sure you're referring to an all powerful deity, however for those of us who don't believe in fairy tales the responsibility falls on the person themselves for the situation they've gotten into. You're probably the type who would pray for your neighbours rather than lending a helping hand.

  • I don't get it
    March 27, 2014 - 03:47

    Why wouldn't he go into the hospital after this happened? He could at least claim he has a concussion or something and have a warm place to ride out the storm.

  • Realistic
    March 27, 2014 - 02:04

    Whatever his misgivings, nobody deserves to be physically abused like that. To say "he had it coming" is childish. There are many reasons that someone with an addiction problem may be unable to work that are beyond the explanatory capacity of an online comment form. Regardless of the reason, it is the responsibility of our relatively generous social programs to look after these people. If you can't accept that as being an inherently good part of being a citizen of this country, move to the one just south of here. You'll love it.

  • jason
    March 26, 2014 - 23:36

    I feel bad for this guy but a friend of mine lent him a guitar to get enough money for a couple of days and it ended up in a pawn shop...that's where island generosity gets ya....does not pay to be nice anymore.............

    • Hope
      March 27, 2014 - 10:08

      As someone who works closely with the pawn shops, I can say that this individual has not pawned a guitar with a pawn shop. That's where Island Gossip can get ya.

  • Aw yes
    March 26, 2014 - 22:48

    Aw yes the gentle island.

  • Duddy
    March 26, 2014 - 22:23

    As a person who struggled with addictions first hand I have NO sympathy. I'm sickened by the amount of spotlight these BUMS receive. He is an active IV drug user who robbed Needs last year. As is the HERO who returned a ring to someone who GAVE HIM MONEY. Would it not be assumed anyone would return a wedding ring to the person who gives you money out of their own pocket?!? The Guardian needs to stop glorifying these people and start publishing stories on REAL SUCCESS STORIES. They seem to gravitate around addiction/abuse.. The underbelly of this gentle island. I'd LOVE to give up my anonimity and come forward with a reporter and give MY STORY. A person who has been through it all and turned my life around. Isn't the whole point of journalism to do your homework before you publish your story? To give an unbiased relaying of news?

    • S
      March 27, 2014 - 06:03

      Just so you are aware, you are confusing him with the other active IV drug user that bums money - Bobby Lund . Bobby was the one who returned the ring .

    • There only one judge
      March 27, 2014 - 06:41

      There is only one judge and we all know who that is . People make mistakes esp if they desperate. Robbing is no excuse .well even the correctional center is better than most of the housing in charlotteown .I dont see how anyone can be denied social assistance .But they are .Even though human rights says it is discrimination to be denied basic needs shelter .food etc. Yeah may be he did some wrong things .maybe he still does who knows . But this is someones child we all here for a reason and most of all this is a human being a child of god .

    • oh really
      March 27, 2014 - 07:38

      Well there nothing worse than a reformed anything . Just remember you may be recovered but you still an addict. Your boasting sounds familiar .emay be you lucky .maybe you had family support .or a welfare check yourself may be you mom could afford portage .Thing is you not clean that long so make sure your door step is clean enough by the way you talk .Its very immature . You know this man is just the person that should be a consult in how addictions planning for treatment should be done .I bet the powers that be never hear his input or have a cup of coffee with him to find out .This reality of a hardcore version of a culture that is usually hidden .as you see he doesnt hide his anominity of his story .If your so successful in overcoming your addiction may be you have some tips for everyone else .

  • Hobo Justice
    March 26, 2014 - 21:58

    A Good Samaritan kicked him in the head and smashed his guitar, best thing I heard all day. Wish all you hobos could get a swift stomp down and get off our streets! Get a real job! No sympathy from me...

  • Anon
    March 26, 2014 - 21:33

    It's been really hard. No excuse for threatening a young girl with knife. You are making your with them. Or learn from them.

  • Anon
    March 26, 2014 - 21:28

    He robbed a young girl at knife point. I have neither empathy or patience for that kind of cowardice. Grow up. Life can be doesn't give you the right to hurt someone else.

  • Anon
    March 26, 2014 - 21:23

    Robbed a store by threatening a young girl at knife point...i can't forgive or condone that kind of cowardice. Lots of people have hard luck. You make your choices. Live with them.

  • Bertram Drilling
    March 26, 2014 - 20:55

    Go west. You think everyone who goes out west to work likes it. No they have to. Get a life. Get haircut. Get a real job. Stay off welfare. Go get a life. Grow up. Addictions I get it. Your moms fault. Take control of your life.

  • curious
    March 26, 2014 - 20:49 Is this the same guy

    • Karma
      March 26, 2014 - 21:00

      Yes it is the same guy, I am the employee that was robbed.

    • Wake up!
      March 27, 2014 - 07:25

      Karma.. It must be hard for you to walk downtown knowing that this guy is still hanging around. I feel sorry for you. It's not fair that you were working & making a living & have to fear for your life. I can't believed people are supporting & making excuses for this guy. If you feel the need to give...give to another poor soul. He'll soon be moving on where no one knows that he robs young girls at knife point.

  • Shape up or ship out
    March 26, 2014 - 20:25

    I feel terrible that anyone would do that to him. But Im really confused though at how he can stand outside all day drinking coffee on a cold sidewalk but cant find a job serving burgers in a nice warm enviroment .Seems a bit odd to me.

    • confused
      March 26, 2014 - 20:50

      I agree.. I don't mean to be cynical or judgemental but it's a little strange that he couldn't work because of a bladder infection.. pretty much any work activity would be healthier and easier on your body than standing out in the cold all day.

    • hardtotell
      March 26, 2014 - 22:04

      It's hard to tell if Islanders are stupid, ignorant or just plain mean. Are you people too brainless to realize that people like this would love to work a regular job but conditions don't allow it. Yes. He can be on the street. Yes he can stand out on a cold day. He does those things when he is ABLE. You don't have that flexibility when you word a job with a schedule. Try using your heads before making your ignorance public.

    • hardtotellifserious
      March 26, 2014 - 23:30

      Hardtotell - Too brainless to realize that this individual would love to work a regular job but conditions won't allow it? What conditions - he has an armed robbery charge in his past. It's not a external condition that having a violent record will make employment less probable. If you want to help the man, YES you can find him a job. YES you can share your paycheque with him. Put your money where your mouth is before every else is brainless or mean for being skeptical. That aside, nobody deserves to get kicked and robbed.